Nicki Jaine

Icy, Cold, All-Consuming Innovation

When hearing Nicki Jaine's music, it's evident that she is an artist who strives to re-invent the wheel.

Jaine has looked past the norm to create a personal signature style.

Focusing on drifting from the norm is important in a local scene; however, it should not always be a primary focus, she said.

"It's very important to create music that is unique and genuine," Jaine said. "The artists that dare to do something a bit different truly make the local scene so interesting. I don't think it's necessarily a good idea to make 'being different' the main objective when creating any form of art. The outlook certainly could challenge someone to be very innovative, but it also can lend itself to the creation of something very contrived. Authenticity is priceless."

The New Jersey artist said she has run across some innovative artists locally.

"I've encountered a very eclectic group of local artists," she said. "I've been quite impressed not only by the diversity of talent, but the respect and support that exists between the artists in the local scene."

Jaine's icy vocals and dark writing styles set her apart from other artists, who may be diverse in their own right. She said her vocal style comes from her artistic experiences and inspirations.

"Developing my vocal style was very similar to discovering who I am in any other way," she said. "Just like my life experiences and inspirations have played such a role in forming my personality and beliefs."

Her voice has evolved since the day she first sang in front of an audience at the age of five.

"It's a matter of trying out many different things and finding what feels true," she said.

She likes to blend her vocal style into her music by playing with inflections.

"You can sing the same words ten different ways and, in doing so, give them ten different meanings," she said. "How something is said is just as important as what is being said."

Blending her vocal style into her compositions is one of Jaine's strong points. She uses music as a vehicle to communicate her emotions and ideas.

The final result is songs that cut deep into her soul to bring something out of the listener.

Jaine clearly is not afraid to take a chance artistically. In fact, risk is integral to her sound. Unfortunately, today's mainstream artists do not follow a formula that puts risk in the forefront.

Jaine hopes the mainstream will soon take a turn for the better, she said.

"There are some mainstream artists that are absolutely brilliant and others that I'm not so crazy about," she said. "I think mainstream culture overall has taken a definite turn for the worse, especially in regards to music. MTV doesn't play music videos anymore and I can't even count how many times I've seen someone who is not a musician on the cover of the Rolling Stone."

Maybe soon, someone with her mindset will be.

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Josh Davidson

Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.